Discussion Questions

Discussion Question 6

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano, or
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs, or
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
"Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving
"The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Purloined Letter" by Edgar Allan Poe

Directions: After reading the lecture, answer JUST ONE of the questions below. Your answer is due no later than Thursday, Apr. 12.

Your responses to other students' answers are due by midnight on Sunday, Apr. 15. in order to get the full 20 points, you MUST respond thoughtfully to at least 2 other people's postings.

Please answer the question as thoughtfully as possible, after reading the lecture. Then post your answer to the English 207 Message Board by the deadline.

We will be using the Canvas Discussion Board for this class. Click on the link below to get to the Canvas portal, sign in, and then click on the box for this class. You will find the "Discussions" link on the left side of the screen:

Discussion Board

Remember: This discussion question is worth a possible 20 points. Late answers will receive 0 points. Points will be assigned according to the thoughtfulness of your answers, not by whether they are "right" or not, since sometimes there is no "right" answer. Just be sure your ideas are supported by the material in the readings.


1. How does the slave narrative you chose to read appeal to the compassion and the traditional Christian ideals of its readers? Give specific examples and quotes from the narrative to support and illustrate your ideas.

2. Washington Irving spoke of creating an "American mythology." How do "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" help to accomplish this? Give specific evidence from the stories to support your answer.


3. What Romantic elements can you see in Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"? Give specific evidence from the stories to support your answer.


4. One interpretation of "The Fall of the House of Usher" is that the narrator is insane, and that he imagines the events at the end of the story. Do you agree with this interpretation? Why or why not? Give specific evidence from the story to support your answer.


5. There are obvious differences between "The Purloined Letter" and "The Fall of the House of Usher." Do you see any similarities between them? Give specific evidence from the stories to support your answer.

--The mural on this page is called "Rural Highway." It's the mural painted for the Middleport, N.Y. Post Office by Marianne Appel in 1941. More information about this mural can be found at Western New York Heritage Press.

--During the Depression in the 1930s and early 1940s, the U.S. government commissioned a number of murals for post offices across the United States. Many of these were quite amazing. To read more about them, CLICK HERE.